I woke up this mornin—
—Bout half-past three.
All the womens in town
Was gathered round me.

Sweet gals was a-moanin—,
—Sylvester—s gonna die!â?
And a hundred pretty mamas
Bowed their heads to cry.

I woke up little later
—Bout half-past fo—,
The doctor —n— undertaker—s
Both at ma do—.

Black gals was a-beggin—,
—You can—t leave us here!â?
Brown-skins cryin—, —Daddy!
Honey! Baby! Don—t go, dear!â?

But I felt ma time—s a-comin—,
And I know—d I—s dyin— fast.
I seed the River Jerden
A-creepin— muddy past—
But I—s still Sweet Papa —Vester,
Yes, sir! Long as life do last!

So I hollers, —Com—ere, babies,
Fo— to love yo— daddy right!â?
And I reaches up to hug —em—
When the Lawd put out the light.

Then everything was darkness
In a great ... big ... night.